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Mona Lisa Smile (2003) Poster

Goofs

Errors in geography 

When Katherine visits Joan's house to show her law school brochures, palm plants are in the front of the house. They would not survive in Massachusetts.
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Anachronisms 

At the wedding, champagne is served in flute glasses. They were rarely used until the 1970s, when drier vintages became preferred. In the 1950s, champagne was served in champagne coupe (or saucer) glasses. They are still used in champagne fountains at weddings.
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During the slide show, Dr. Watson says "A Rhodes scholar. I wonder if she recites Geoffrey Chaucer while she presses her husband's shirts". Women were not permitted to apply for Rhodes scholarships until 1977.
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When Nancy Abbey watches I Love Lucy, the title card shows the famous heart-on-velvet, which was only used when the show was in syndication. The original opening sequence featured ads for a cigarette company.
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Law schools started awarding "Juris Doctor" degrees in the 1960s. Before that, they awarded "Legum Baccalaureus" (LL.B.), or Bachelor of Laws.
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The china Nancy Abbey uses for her etiquette class, "Prince Regent" by Royal Worcester, is inspired by an 1811 pattern privately commissioned by George IV as Prince Regent. However, it was not produced for public sale until the 1990s.
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Early in the film, a modern supermarket shopping cart appears during a game.
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One young woman holds up a blue plastic diaphragm case. In the 1950s, diaphragm cases were cloth or rubber. Plastic cases appeared in the 1970s.
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The turntable tonearm is of late-1960s vintage.
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The slide of the Sistine Chapel in Katherine's Christmas present is a photo of the Chapel ceiling after it was restored in the 1990s.
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Katherine and friends walk into a bar in Wellesley, which was a totally dry town in the 1950s.
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Audio/visual unsynchronised 

During Betty's wedding reception, the band plays a rousing number. The trumpets do not have mutes, but their sound could only be produced with a metal mute.
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When Katherine shows the first advertisement slide, she says "slide" without moving her mouth.
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During the wedding reception, when Nancy explains to Katherine that her husband didn't die in the war, a slow song is playing. For a second, the people in the background dance very quickly.
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Character error 

Katherine Watson says the Lascaux cave painting was discovered in 1879. It was actually discovered in 1940.
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Katherine Watson tells her class that Vincent van Gogh never sold a painting during his lifetime. He actually sold one painting, to his brother Theo, for 5 francs.
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When President Carr dictates the invitation for Katherine's return to Wellesley, her secretary writes in shorthand that makes no sense. The only correct word is the first, which reads "Dear".
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When Betty types her editorial against the school nurse, the narration says "... has been willingly distributing..." but she types "disb" as the start of "distributing."
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When Katherine Watson gives Joan Brandwyn the Yale Law School application, "juris doctor" is misspelled "jurus doctor".
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Continuity 

During Katherine's talk with Stan, her drink alternates between nearly full and almost empty between shots.
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When Katherine walks along the outdoor corridor with the tile floor and columns, before Bill gives her the belated Christmas present, puddles are clearly visible. In a close-up view, when Bill gives Catherine her gift, the tile floor is completely dry.
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During the Maypole dance, the first shot of the maypole shows a tight pattern made at the top. In the second shot, the ribbons are just starting to go around the pole.
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At the Adam's Rib party, Giselle is sitting in the window, with her hair parted in the middle and her forehead visible. In the next shot, when she moves into the room, her hair is parted on one side and sweeping across her forehead.
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During Betty's wedding reception, Katherine, Nancy, and Bill sit at a table. Nancy walks into the scene twice to see if Katherine wants anything to drink.
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The first day of art history class, Katherine Watson brings in two black slide cases. When is class is over, she leaves with one red slide case.
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Crew or equipment visible 

Giselle runs early in the film. At one point, a microphone is visible, taped inside her shirt.
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Factual errors 

When Doris Day's "Secret Love" plays, the record has a 1960s RCA Victor classical label. The album was produced by Columbia Records.
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Katherine Watson is harassed for introducing modern art to her students. Wellesley was the first liberal arts college to teach modern art, and its program was well-established by 1953.
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When Katherine Watson studies Joan Brandwyn's file, it says Joan attended Miss Porters School in Lower Merion, PA. Miss Porters School is in Farmington, CT.
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During the convocation assembly at the beginning of the film, President Carr wears a gown and tassel that show she has a doctoral degree, but her cap indicates a master's or bachelor's degree.
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The students depicted in the film, including extras, are almost all Caucasian. In 1953, Wellesley's student body was much more racially diverse than the movie suggests.
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Revealing mistakes 

The "AR" (Adam's Rib) party is supposed to be at 5 PM. It's winter in New England, but broad daylight appears outside the windows.
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With the exception of Christmas break, all the bar scenes are similar. Bill wears the same sweater, Katherine's hair is always half-up, her earrings are the same, and her outfit is the same, with either a coat or a vest.
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Spoilers

The goof item below may give away important plot points.

Continuity 

In the graduation scene, Amanda Armstrong, who was fired earlier in the movie, sits down to take a picture with the class and teachers in her cap and gown.
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At graduation, when Betty asks Katherine Watson for the address, she runs out of the building, hair disheveled, with no hat. When her mother approaches, Betty has neat hair and a purple hat, like all the other girls.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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